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THE DOG

Once upon a time we had near our


country house a neighbor whose name
made you burst into laughter. His name
was Mr. Dog and he was the first to joke
about this and he didn’t seem slightly bit angry when children called
him Medar or Azure.
This man was very good, kind, a little bit cold, but very
appreciated for righteous character and for kindness. Besides his name
nothing seemed odd, so one day his behavior made us wonder, when
his dog did something bad at the table. Instead of shouting or hitting it,
he had said in a cold tone, staring at it, this odd reprimand: “If you will
behave in this way, mister, it’ll take a long time before you stop being
a dog. I, who is talking to you, I was and sometimes it happened to me
that, pushed by greed, to grab a sort of food even though it wasn’t for
me. But I wasn’t like you, at the age of wisdom and also, find out,
mister, that I’ve never broken a plate! ” .
The dog had listened to this speech with an obedient attention,
and then he yawned wistfully, which at dogs, after its master’s sayings,
isn’t a sign of boredom, but of sadness. After that, he went to sleep
with his muzzle on his front paws, looking like he was haunted by black
thoughts.
At first, we thought that by referring to his name, our neighbor
meant plain and simple to joke as for change our mood but the solemn
and convinced tone with which he asks us if we keep any memory from
our past life until now, he has let us dumb of amazement. ”None”, we
said all together.
Mr. Dog, looking at all of us who were round the table and seeing
that we look with lack of confidence, he decided to draw his attention
on a servant who just entered to bring a letter and who knew nothing
about the things said before.
Mr. Dog: And you, Sylvain, do you remember what you were before
being a human being?
Sylvain: Mister, he answered without losing his temper, since I know
me as a human; I’ve always been a carriage driver. It’s very natural
that before being a carriage driver to have been a horse.
“Good answer!” we exclaimed, and Sylvain left, in the applauses
of the cheering people at the table.
Mr. Dog: This man is very smart and he doesn’t lose his temper. It’s
very natural as to speak like him, that in his next life not to be a
carriage driver but a master.
One of us: And he will beat his servants, like being carriage drive he
would have beaten his horses.

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Mr. Dog: I bet on everything you want, that Sylvain never beats his
horses, like I never beat my dog. If Sylvain have been brutal and cruel
he would have never been a carriage driver and he not be meant to be
a master. If I’ve beaten my god I will become a dog after death (his
words seemed full of meaning and we let him continue, and he
resumed) very simple, I will explain in a couple of words the soul’s life,
if you want, it has its own laws, like the organic material in which it
reincarnates has its own. It said that the body and soul have from time
to time opposite tendencies, I deny this. I support, at least, that these
tendencies always get, after any kind of dealing face to face to agree,
to spur out the evolution ladder the animal in which this fight is given.
Every human being feels these, the need of a transformation, and my
dog and my horse, and all the other animals which man brought by his
side are feeling even harder these things, harder than the beasts
which live in the forest. Look at the dog, this thing can be seen on I
more clearly than on the other animals. He is always trying to get
closer to me, he likes my food, my armchair, my friends. He would
sleep in if I let him, he hears my voice, he knows it, he understands
what I am saying. He knows that I am talking about him right now.
Look how he is moving his ears. He understands just a couple of words,
I told him. When you say the word “dog” he flinches, it’s true but your
ideas go on remain as a mystery to hi not as much as you think; he
knows that he’s the one, he reminds making a mistake and every
moment he asks from eyes if I will punish or forgive him. He has the
brains of a kid that doesn’t speak yet, you like assuming all of this
because you have imagination, I don’t have imagination, but memory.
We: Oh, look, they exclaimed, he pretends remembering, then let him
tell us about the lives he had until now. Quickly! We are listening!
Mr. Dog: It would be a never ending story and one of the most
confuse because I don’t want to remember everything, from the
beginning of the world and until now. Death has the attribute to break
any connection between the life that ended and the one that’s starting.
Although I, who has an a exception, kept, as it may seem, a little from
memory of those have been, I don’t manage to discipline in my lives. I
kept the living images which I still have in front of my eyes. For
example: I am in a river, I am a fish, a fish, but what kind of fish? I
don’t know…a trout maybe because I remember the fear from the
turbid water and the desire to climb on the water’s thread. I still have
the delicious sensation which I had when the sun drew diamond
arabesques above the waves that crushed spreading in the air silver
drops. He was I don’t know where- then the springs didn’t have a name
for me-an exciting waterfall in which the moon was playing spinning
silvery threads. I spent whole hours fighting with the torrent which
pushed me back. During day time, on the shore, gold and silvery flies
appeared and which flew above the grass and which I was grabbing

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with a special skill. This haunt was for me an opportunity to play, then,
a way to feed myself, sometimes the ladies with blue wings-the
dragonflies-touched me when flying. Wonderful plants seemed to cover
me with their green arms but the thirst of the freedom always pushed
me through quick and unstoppable waters. To move, to swim quickly,
quicklier and quicklier, with no rest, oh!, it was like a drunken! I
remembered those beautiful times yesterday when I was swimming in
your waters. And now I will never forget them…
We: Tell us more! Tell us more! (Said the children who were listening
with their ears pricked). Were you a frog, a lizard, a butterfly?
Mr. Dog: A lizard- I don’t know, a frog-maybe, but a butterfly- this I
remember greatly. I was a flower, a beautiful delicate one. Probably a
specie of mouse’s grass. Hanging on the shore of a spring, I was
thirsty, I was able to touch it and a fresh wind was shaking me without
stop, the desire gives you a strength that knows no borders. One
morning I came off of my stem and floated, helped by the breeze. I had
wings and, I was free and alive. Butterflies are nothing else but flowers
on a holly day, in which the nature is inspired and fertile.
Me: Very nice, but this is poetry!
Somebody else: Don’t stop him, he amuses us. Can you tell us what
were you thinking when you were a rock?
Mr. Dog: A rock is a thing, and it doesn’t think. I don’t remember
anything from that life, but I’ve certainly been a rock too. I never sit on
a rock without feeling its touch, as being something special which
shows me that between us must have been a long time ago a certain
connection. To get away of all these questions that you are asking me I
will choose one of my experiences that I remember best, and I will tell
you how I lived, that means what I have done and what I have thought
the last time when I was a dog. Don’t expect for a very interesting
adventure, every animal has its own character.
The chandeliers have been brought, the servants left, silence
was made and the odd story teller said:” I was a little cute dog, a pure
breed poodle I don’t even remember my mother, of whom I was
separated since I was very young and neither of though operation.
Through which my tail was cut and my ears got thinner. They found me
beautiful, mutilated as I was and from an early age, I began to enjoy
compliments. From early times, the ones that I can remember, I
understood what the words “beautiful dog” and “cute dog” mean. I
liked the word “white rabbit”. I was delighted. I liked, also, taking a
bath but like always found only muddy waters in which the heat made
me through myself. I got out all muddy and told me “yellow rabbit” or
“black rabbit, a fact that filled with humiliation. This dissatisfaction
which I tried a number of times taught me to make pretty well the
difference between colors. The first person who took care after my
education was an old lady, who had her own ideas about the way a dog

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should be raised. She didn’t want me to bring the stick or to offer the
paw .She said that a dog doesn’t learn these things without being
beaten. I understood very well this word, because the servant used to
beat me, without the master knowing that. So I found out, since early,
that I was enjoying protection and that, by staying close to her, I will
always have pleasure of being caressed and encouraged. I was young
and crazy. I liked grabbing and gnawing sticks. It is a habit I kept
very well my whole life and which is a part of a dog’s nature behave, of
mouth’s strength and the opening of the muzzle.
With no doubt, the nature made me a devouring animal. Taught
to respect the hens and the geese. I needed to fight with something to
consume of my energy and from my body’s strength. A child as I was, I
destroyed the old lady’s garden: I grabbed out the plants’ props and
other time the whole plant. The gardener wanted to punish me, by
giving me a hard slapping; my master calmed him and took me on the
other side, and talked to me as serious as she could be. She told me
many times, holding my head, looking in my eyes: What you did is
very bad, very bad, it can’t be worse! Then she showed me a stick and
she prohibited to touch it. When finally I had listened to her, she said
It’s very well, very well, you are a good dog…
it didn’t need more that that to make to bloom inside of me that
priceless treasure which is the conscience, which the education brings
to life in a dog, when this one is very gifted, and he isn’t demean it self
by curses and kicks.
So I learnt since I was very young the feeling of dignity, without
which the real brains doesn’t show, not in an animal, nor in a human
being. That one who only listens by fear, he will never know to
command for himself.
I had eighteen months and I was in the flower of my youth and
beauty when my master moved and too me with her at the country
where she was to live from now with her family. There, there was a big
park and I knew the drunken of freedom. As soon as I saw the old
lady’s son, then I understood after the way he hugged me and after
the way he received me that he was the master of the house and I had
to listen to him. From the first day I followed him step by step holding
on to him a comprehensive and convinced attitude so we became
friends instantly. He caressed me and put me to sleep on his office
desk. His young wife didn’t like dogs and she would let me go easily.
Though she accepted
me because I was always clean. I could be left in front of the tastiest
foods, it were few times when I tasted them with the tip of my tongue.
Besides the fact that I wasn’t greedy at all, I didn’t like sweets. I knew
that I must not touch other people’s things. I was told because they
have spoken like to a person:

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Here is your plate, your bowl, your pillow and your blanket… I knew
that those things were mine and I didn’t have to protect them but I’ve
never thought trespassing other people’s things. I had another quality
that I was very appreciated: I’ve never gone to the garbage looking to
eat those junks which all dogs went, and I didn’t roll over. If rolling over
on the ground or sleeping on coals I was to blacking or yellowing my
white clothes you could be certain that I wouldn’t grime with any dirty
thing. I also proved a quality which was taken into a count I never
barked at anyone and never beat anyone. Barking is a thread and an
insult, I was much too smart, not to understand the person liked by my
masters should enjoy all of my goodwill and regarding to evidence of
love and friend ship which come with an old friend, I was careful. Soon
I made him understand that I liked him, by caresses. Even more, I
spied them, when these beloved guests woke up to show them the
garden and the house. I took them for a walk, so full of kindness, until
my master came to replace me. All of them dwell on me away with
much gratitude for this sense of hospitality, which nobody bothered to
cultivate for me and which discovered by myself.
When kids appeared I was truly happy. At the first birth a sort of
impatience showed its presence when noticed with how much curiosity
I smelled the baby. I was still playful and rush, they were afraid for me
not to be brutal or jealous. Then my old master took the baby on her
knees, saying: We should have a serious talk with Fadet…don’t be
afraid, he understands everything! Do you see this doll, she is the
most priceless human being in the house. Love her much, ouch her
kindly, care her. You understand me, Fadet, don’t you? You will take to
her!
So, in front of me, she kissed and hold her kindly to the chest. I
understood everything and I asked, by begging with my eyes and
wagging my tail, to let me kiss the cute human being. Her
grandmother took her little hand and brought it closer to me; she told
me again: Easy Fadet, easy…! I lapped the little hand, and the chilled
seemed to me so cute so I couldn’t stop myself to touch the red cheek
with my tongue too, but I did it so kindly so she was slightly bit afraid,
because I was the one to make her smile for the first time in her life,
but that later.
Another child was born after two years, now there were two little
girls. The elder has already taken to me. The second too, and I was
able to roll with her on the carpet. The parents were a little bit mindful
because of my cheerfulness, but the grandmother gave me a
confidence which I was trying to deserve. She repeated me sometimes
Easy, Fadet, easy…! .
So, they’ve never had something to good to reprimand me for.
Never, even in the biggest gambol I didn’t bite their hands to redden
the skin, I’ve never shredded their dresses, and I’ve never touch their

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face with my paws. Though, as young as they were, they profited of
my kindness but I understood so I didn’t get angry on them. One day
they wanted to harness me to their
little garden carriage and to put there their dolls. I let them harness
me, and the God knows how, I took them for a walk as much as the
girls wanted. Now I can say that I was a little bit haughty because the
servants were very surprised by the fact I was so humble. They said
This is not a dog, it’s a horse! All the day the little girls called me
white horse and that made me very proud.
All of them were very as more thankful for my kindness as I
didn’t let anybody to insult or huff me. And however good I was with
my master, one day I showed him that I have dignity. I made a mistake
because of my laziness to go outside, so he huffed me with the whip. I
revolted and I started jump in front of him and get angry by showing
my teeth. He was clever and he didn’t punish me, but somebody told
him that he shouldn’t pass this, and that a bad dog must be beaten.
But he said No, I know him, he is brave and he won’t back-down in the
fight, so I will have to kill him and then the punished one will be me.
So, he forgave me and from that instant I loved him more.
I had a very happy and good life in that blessed house. All of
them loved me and the servants were very careful with me. The kids,
grew up, adored me and said me the sweetest and cutest words, my
masters respected me for my character saying that my love for them
wasn’t because of creed or other dirty things. I liked to stay near them,
and becoming older I slept on their feet or at the door if they forgot to
open it for me. I belonged of a no defect discretion and education;
even I was so independent and unsupervised. I’ve never scratch the
door with my paws or I’ve never started to yowl like a crazy.
When the first signs of rheumatism appeared I was healed
doctored like a human being. Each evening the master enshrouded me
in my blanket and if he was late for this thing I sat on his feet,
watching him without bore him with my troubles.
The only thing which I want to reproach to myself from my whole
dog experience is that I showed too bit of my kindness to the other
dogs. Was that a sign for me, because I will leave soon this specie, and
that made me hate the foolery and dirty habits? Was I afraid to
become too dog if I would go with them, did I dispraise them for their
moral and intellectual inferiority? I hate them my whole life and it was
said I was a little bad with my fellows. However I have to tell you I’ve
never beat the weak or the young ones. I attacked just the bigger and
stronger ones with a heroic adventuresome ness; I came back full of
injuries and when I got healed I went again to fight them. I was like
that just with the outsiders and with the unknown ones.
When a family friend brought his dog, it was delivered a serious
speech to me, asking me to be polite and to remember the hospitality

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rules. It was said to his name, and his head was very close to me. The
first snarls were very calm with nice words, so I remembered that I
deserve my respect.
Then, it ended forever: no fights or challenges too. But I have to
tell you that besides Moutonne, the shepherd’s dog, which I was very
united with and which defended me against the urged dogs; I’ve never
get close to other animal of my specie. I found them lower than me,
even the beautiful hounds, or the little society dogs which were hard
pressed to leave their animal instincts. I, who proved my kindness,
even if I was, like they were too, the slave of my own actions in
different circumstances- risking just me- I was yielding and sociable in
my relations with the human, just because I liked to be like that, and I
think I would have been very ashamed if I would have left that rule.
Just one time I seemed thankless and I was very worried about
that. A contagious illness wandered on those places and the family left
the house taking the kids too, and they thought I would have been very
sad, so that they haven’t told me. I woke up in the morning and I saw I
was alone, I was just with a servant, but who, maybe if he was more
worried for his destiny or he didn’t know how to do it, he didn’t bother
to calm me. I was desperate, and that empty house seemed to me a
tomb. I’ve never been a glutton but in that moment I was slightly bit
hungry, and I’ve became so slim so you could see though me. Finally,
after such a long time my old master came back o prepare the house
for the return of the family, but I didn’t know why she came back
alone, and that made me think that the rest of the family won’t return
never, so I hadn’t the courage to get close to her and to caress her.
She commanded to make the fire in her room and she called me
there, but when she saw me she said He is so slim, hurry up, and bring
me some soup and bread! But I didn’t want the food. The servant told
her about my sadness. She covered me with caresses but she didn’t
manage to calm me. She would have to tell me her son and his wife
and their children were fine and they will come back home soon. She
didn’t think about that, and lamented my illness, which she didn’t
understand. She saw I am right when the family returned. By
the lovely reception which I made for the children, I proved to my old
master that I have a good and noble heart.
When I became old a beam of sun cheered up my life. In the
house came the little puppy Lisette, which the children argued for, but
the elder let her for her sister, because she said she needs a good and
old friend like me. Lisette was very kind with me and her childish
cheerfulness lightened the winter of my life. She was so nervous and
tyrannical with me. She has bitten very hard my ears. I yowled but I
didn’t get angry because she was cute when she was doing that. She
tied me on to run with her. But my great love was for the little girl who
loved me and preferred me and not Lisette; she talked to me like her

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grandmother did. I haven’t any memory of my last years, maybe
because I was ending my life easy. With no doubt, they knew I
deserved to be a human being, because just the word missed to me.
However, I don’t know if my soul has passed that step. I don’t know
which shape I started a new life in, but I think I didn’t reincarnate in a
dog because these things which I have told you are so fresh, like they
happened yesterday. The suits, the costumes, the habits and the
traditions aren’t very different of which I have seen in my dog life”
The sobriety of our neighbor which he had when he told us those
stories made us draw our attention to him. Those stupefied us and hold
us in suspense. We begged him to tell us more but he said: “It’s
enough for today but perhaps later I will try to collect all my memories
and I will tell you a beautiful story of one of my many lived lives.

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